Monday, August 11, 2008

Talk about whitewashing

At my work today, I'm going through stock photography for a personal trainer's website. Her main client base is older people, so I've been keeping an eye out for pictures of older people working out. There's a fair amount of pictures of older people, mostly riding bikes and things like that, however, the lack of people of color is astonishing. The utter whiteness of the whole site is a bit overwhelming.

I've seen two or three pictures of Asian people, but then it's children in karate outfits. I suppose to get stock photography of people of color, you have to go to a special website for that because, you know, POC need their own special interest site where you can get specific pictures of POC. You don't want them on the normal site with pictures of happy athletic white people. It's just not realistic, you know.

The first 8 pictures in search for "black people" were of white women in black dresses. That just pisses me off BEYOND words. And almost all pictures of POC have a prefix of "black" or "Asian." They're not just people... they're Black people and Asian people in ways that the others aren't White people.

No wonder the media has problems depicting POC without ridiculous stereotypes... the stock photography isn't helping.


Renee said...

Being made invisible is large part of the social marginalization of POC. If we are not visible in everyday acts, living life and only appear when there is some kind of criminal behavior it maintains the white=good and black=bad dichotomy.

Lindsay said...

I suppose I was looking for stock photos of people exercising... maybe I would have had better luck locating POC if I had searched for looting or something like that.

Habladora said...

This is frustrating even for the blog - you search for photos of mothers - white. School kids - white. Gay marriage, working women, athletes... white, white, white. You really have to search to get just a stock photo of any person of color. Sigh.